Petty Parti Politik?
As if there were not enough political plot twists already happening across a COVID-ravaged world, Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad (95 years old), announced on 7 August that he will be forming a brand new political party.
This was announced following the outcome of the Kuala Lumpur High Court decision to remove Dr Mahathir and four other MPs from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu). The legal application to revoke Dr Mahathir’s party membership was made by incumbent Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is Bersatu’s current President and co-founder along with Dr Mahathir.
Previously, Dr Mahathir and the four MPs filed a legal challenge against the application set out by PM Muhyiddin and three other party members, following their seating at the Opposition benches in Malaysia Parliament on 18 May. This has since been rejected by the High Court, with Judge Rohani Ismail deciding that Dr Mahathir and the MPs had no legal standing to sue against PM Muhyiddin’s application.
The new party will be an independent one, and not tied to any of the other political blocs. Dr Mahathir and his son Mr Mukhriz Mahathir, are expected to be Chairman and President of this new party respectively.
The Plot Grows Thicker…
Since 7 August, defections from PM Muhyiddin’s Bersatu to Dr Mahathir’s new party had already begun. Three Bersatu supreme council members have left the party, while Bersatu divisions across the Federation in states such as Selangor and Klang have been dissolved.
Various other party assemblymen from Petaling Jaya and Langkawi have also tended their resignation from Bersatu. This is despite uncertainty on whether Dr Mahathir’s new party can even be officiated via Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin, who is part of Bersatu’s leadership.
It is yet to be seen if the defections would have an impact lasting into the next general election, which is rumored to be a snap election coming in the next couple of months. Dr Mahathir intends for his new party to contest in a by-election on 29 August in Perak. Malaysians would certainly be eyeing on how much this might change the current political dynamic between incumbent and opposition parties in Malaysia.